Investigators claim government falsified TWA 800 air crash probe

Former investigators of the TWA Flight 800 airplane crash have revealed that an explosion came from outside the plane, thereby contradicting the government’s conclusion that the fatal crash was an accident.

The investigators claim they were silenced from telling the truth by their superiors, and were forced to conclude that the 1996 crash was an accident sparked by a fuel tank explosion. In a new EPIX film called “TWA Flight 800”, the former National Transportation Safety Board investigators communicate their beliefs that an outside explosion was responsible for the deadly crash that occurred nearly 17 years ago, killing all 230 people on board.

The documentary film revolves around the crash of the Trans World Airlines Flight 800, a Boeing 747-131 that exploded and plunged into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New York on July 17, 1996. The plane had been en route from New York to Paris, but went up in flames over the Atlantic Ocean, just 12 minutes after take-off from John F. Kennedy International Airport. There were no survivors, and some speculated that the plane might have been the target of a terrorist attack.

Several witnesses alleged that they saw a streak of light moving toward the aircraft before it exploded, leading some to believe that an anti-aircraft missile or rocket was responsible for the explosion. But an NTSB report drawn up after a 16-month investigation concluded that the “accident” was a result of faulty wiring that caused an electrical short circuit in the fuel gauge line, thereby resulting in a devastating fuel tank explosion. All NTSB employees and investigators were forced to stand by this conclusion, whether or not they believed it, the film’s producers said in a statement.

“These investigators were not allowed to speak to the public or refute any comments made by their superiors and/or NTSB and FBI officials about their work at the time of the official investigation,” the statement says.

Despite the NTSB’s report, some Americans continued to believe that the plane was fatally struck by a missile or rocket. They were termed conspiracy theorists, and their beliefs long overshadowed by the government’s official conclusion. Pierre Salinger, a former Press Secretary for John F. Kennedy and a reporter for ABC News, claimed he had seen proof that the US Navy shot down the plane. He argued that the government covered up the truth to hide the agency’s fatal mistake.

Salinger’s evidence was an e-mail from Richard Russell, a former United Airlines pilot who had obtained a videotape of radar screens from the night of the TWA explosion. But Bob Francis, the former vice chairman of the NTSB, told CNN that Salinger was “an idiot” who “didn’t know what he was talking about” and was “totally irresponsible”.

The crash is considered the third-deadliest US aviation accident in history, but the now-retired NTSB investigators featured in the documentary are hinting that it may never have been an “accident” at all. Interviews with members of the NTSB team will air on EPIX TV next month, on the 17-year anniversary of the deadly crash.

Six whistleblowers featured in the film are expected to expose the government’s cover-up of an incident that may have been an attack, a grave mistake by the Navy, or some other external force, if their claims are true. The producers of the film say that the NTSB investigators do not speculate about the source of the external explosion, but simply contradict the government’s official report.

“This team of investigators who actually handled the wreckage and victims’ bodies, prove that the officially proposed fuel-air explosion did not cause the crash,” the producers said in a statement. “They also provide radar and forensic evidence proving that one or more ordnance explosions outside the aircraft caused the crash.”

Tom Stalcup, co-producer of the film, told CNN that the documentary provides “solid proof” of the external detonation.

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